The Wilbur D. May Museum at Rancho San Rafael has a wide range of historic artifacts
The Wilbur D. May Museum at Rancho San Rafael has a wide range of historic artifacts

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Pool and Spa Opening Procedures

Prior to any pool or spa opening and operating, it must be inspected, and approved for use in writing by the Washoe County Health District (WCHD). Please review past inspection reports and make sure all items in the list below have been addressed before scheduling an inspection. Once the pool and/or spa have been properly prepared for inspection and the permit fee paid, inspections must be scheduled at least 3 business days in advance of the requested inspection date.

  • All pools and spas are now classified as annual permits. If any pools and/or spas are closed and/or covered for any length of time during the year, WCHD requires scheduling an opening inspection prior to operating as described above.

Please contact the WCHD at (775) 328-2434 with any questions or one of the pool and spa program contacts for assistance.

During the week before Memorial Day Weekend, it is strongly suggested that an inspection request be made at least 2 weeks prior to the intended opening date.

  1. Operators must have a WCHD recognized Public Swimming Pool and Spa Operator Certification in order to maintain the permitted status for all Public Pools and Spas.
  2. The CPO Certification Form, with the Public Swimming Pool and Spa Operator information, must be visibly posted at all permitted facilities.
  3. If noticed to correct deficiencies during a prior inspection, the corrections must be completed prior to scheduling an inspection. A construction permit from the WCHD is required if correcting the deficiency requires the replacement or modification of all or part of any structure, circulation system or appurtenance of a public bathing or swimming facility to the extent that its design, configuration or operating characteristics differ in any respect from those of the original. Please see sections 444.061, 444.100, 444.102, 444.104, 444.398, 444.420, 444.442 and 444.424.
  4. The barrier (e.g., fence, wall, etc.) around the pool/spa must be in good condition and conform to regulatory construction requirements. Gates on the barrier must be self-closing from any position. Gate latches must be at least 3.5 feet above grade.
  5. The pool/spa disinfectant equipment must be operational and adjusted to maintain proper disinfectant levels. The equipment must be approved for use with the pool/spa disinfectant. The disinfectant injectors must automatically shut off when the water through the recirculation system is not flowing. The circulation and filtration equipment, including rate of flow indicators, pressure gauges, valves, etc must be operational and must be performing properly. There must be no leakage. Disinfectant concentration and water chemical balance must be stabilized (e.g., pH, total alkalinity, cyanuric acid, hardness, etc.), and must be within the acceptable ranges. A test kit capable of measuring the concentration of the chemicals must be available. Pool/spa operators must be able to demonstrate the use of their test kits.
  6. Anti-vortex drain covers must be installed and firmly attached. The water must be clear enough to clearly see the pattern in the main drain in the deepest part of the pool/spa from the deck.
  7. Pool/spa chemicals must be stored safely in a dry, cool area at least 2 feet away from heat sources and electrical equipment.
  8. For pools, at least one Life Saving Unit must be in place. A unit consists of a Shepherd's or body hook and/or a ring buoy (i.e., two-foot diameter) or rescue tube, with an attached rope. The length of the rope must be at least 1.5 times the width of the pool.
  9. A telephone for use in case of an emergency at the pool/spa must be operational and be readily available. Emergency phone numbers must be posted at the phone location.
  10. A first aid kit must be available for all persons utilizing the pool and/or spa. Please see the First-Aid Kit: Contents & Equipment List
  11. The pool/spa surface, deck, ladders, steps, diving boards, slides, etc., must be in good condition.
  12. Bath house facilities and drinking fountains must be operational and in good repair.
  13. An approved 6" air gap must be provided between the fresh water fill and the pool or spa water surface.
  14. Hot water spas must have a temperature of between 70° F and 104° F.
  15. All required signs must be posted and visible within the pool/spa enclosure. (See signage for pools & spas.)

The pool/spa will not be allowed to open if it does not comply with any of the 15 items listed above.

If you allow the pool/spa to be opened for use without having obtained approval from WCHD staff, the permittee and/or operator may be issued a misdemeanor citation and/or subject to additional legal action.